Share: do you have a habit of using a mouthwash?

Okay, hands up! How many of you use mouth wash on a daily basis to enhance your oral hygiene? I have two bottles of Oral B Tooth & Gum Care Mouth Rinse at home but I’m not the one using them. In fact, I rarely use a mouthwash. One, I’m just plain lazy and the other, I hate the taste that lingers in my mouth.

Alcohol content kills bacteria
Actually I hate the taste of mouthwashes because most of them contain alcohol. I see it listed as the third in the ingredient list on the Oral B one. It’s not surprising, because like hand sanitizers, the amount of bacteria mouthwash kills depends on the amount of ethanol or ethyl alcohol it contains. I understand that mouthwashes can contain up to 70 percent ethanol and this concentration kills most mouth bacteria.

High amount of alcohol render mouthwash useless?
According to The Times, many mouthwashes contain exceptionally high levels of alcohol which may render the mouthwash useless. “Alcohol can dry out the mouth by drawing moisture from the tissues and slowing the flow of saliva. With limited saliva to flush away or dilute bacteria, it is suggested that rinses that contain alcohol cause germs to become more, not less, concentrated in the mouth – making smelly breath possibly worse. ”

Alcohol in mouthwash carcinogenic?
And then there are some experts argue that not only is a mouthwash useless, but it can also be harmful to your health. According to a report on Telegraph, scientists now have sufficient evidence that mouthwashes containing alcohol contribute to an increased risk of the disease that they should be taken off supermarket shelves and labelled with health warnings. The findings, published in the Dental Journal of Australia, suggested that ethanol in mouthwash was allowing cancer-causing substances – carcinogens – to permeate the lining of the mouth. The acetaldehyde resulting from the breakdown of alcohol after swishing in the mouth is also a carcinogen.

Most mouthwashes classified as cosmetic
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), mouth rinses are classified as either “cosmetic” or “therapeutic”; the classification depends on the active ingredients contained in the product. Some are a combination of both but only those that are labeled as therapeutic have been tested and proven to be effective against bacteria. So it seems that most commercially available mouthwashes only provide temporary guard against bacteria as they are classified as “cosmetic”.

Mouthwash prevents dental plague
Well, I’m not too familiar with that but I do know that Oral B Tooth and Gum Care Mouth Rinse that I have at home contains Cetylpyridinium Chloride, a clinically proven ingredient which inhibits plaque formation. The product also contains fluoride to protect against cavities. So perhaps that’s why my husband’s teeth looks better than mine as studies reported by the American Dental Association indicate that antimicrobial mouth rinses and toothpastes have been proven to reduce dental plaque. When used together, flouride toothpaste and flouride mouthwash have been shown in clinical studies to provide extra protection against tooth decay.

Your say
But still, that’s not going to get me into the habit of using mouthwash on a daily basis. To me, regular brushing and proper flossing are more than sufficient to maintain my oral hygiene. How about you? Do you have a habit of using a mouthwash?


  1. Audris says:

    Oh I do ? but only alcohol-free ones (oral B also has that version). My favourite is Colgate Plax in Peppermint iirc (blue colour). Those with alcohol burn my gums way too much.

  2. Soos says:

    I don’t use mouthwash, husband does. Floss and brush daily, and NO cavities or problems!

  3. rinaz says:

    Mouthwashes make me cry, literally every time I use it

  4. stella says:

    i floss and use a mouthwash, just feels soooo much cleaner and healthier :p i use a pink alcohol-free one from colgate.

  5. sesame says:

    Listerine is quite unbearable…makes me cry like Rinaz!

  6. sesame says:

    Same here…and I don’t always floss. ?

  7. sesame says:

    Listerine does that for me! Oral B, even the one with alcohol, is better.

  8. sesame says:

    It’s true too…the times I do rinse with a mouthwash, my mouth feels more refreshed. But I’m still happy with just brushing and flossing a couple of times a week.

  9. louisa says:

    I do and Oral B has a alcohol-free version of the bottle in your pic. I use that.

  10. loveless says:

    Mouthwash is not a staple for me, but like Stella, it makes my mouth feel fresher and cleaner when I use it.

    When I need to, I use Sarakan mouthwash, which according to its website (, is vegan and unsweetened, with NO alcohol/fluoride/SLS/Parabens/artificial colourings. It is flavoured with natural oils of peppermint, clove & geranium. The active ingredient is natural extract of Salvadora persica – known as the toothbrush tree.

    I also use their toothpaste. It doesn’t foam well but I like the taste and according to the dentist, my teeth and gums are okay. When I had wisdom tooth surgery a couple months back, I used the Sarakan mouthwash instead of the dentist gave me, and my gums healed well with no problems.

    In Singapore, they cost quite a bit more than the UK retail prices and are only carried by a few shops. While there are other choices for natural toothpastes, the only natural mouthwash I’ve come across is Sarakan.

  11. Swati says:

    I save mouthwashes for only travels and that too only when I can’t use a brush otherwise brushing and flossing takes care of the dental health and then eating apples and other crunchy foods help teeth too!!!

  12. OSeñorita says:

    I don’t use mouthwash on a regular basis. I don’t like its after taste. Too strong for me.

  13. sesame says:

    Same here…

  14. sesame says:

    So you’re the same like me…we only use mouthwash occasionally. I like the idea of eating crunchy food to help teeth…but most definitely still have to brush them especially before going to bed. ?

  15. sesame says:

    Oh so interesting…they have vegan and natural formulas but I wonder how well they work? I guess the essential oils can help to cleanse off bacteria. I should try to use some natural toothpaste next time but I rarely see them around…even if they are, they are costly like you’ve pointed out.

  16. sesame says:

    I don’t think I’ve tried the alcohol version cos my hub is the one who buys and he always buy this.

  17. Audris says:

    Oh yes. I have a couple of sample bottles from Listerine from over a year ago. Still sealed and untouched. Because it stings like there’s no tomorrow ?

  18. sesame says:

    Haha…and it taste quite horrible. >.<

  19. Amanda says:

    I can never get myself into the habit of either flossing or using mouthwash. I am thinking about whether there are other green ways to rinse my mouth, because, just like you, I hate the taste of most mouthwashes. They are too artificial and make me think I’ve drunken some chemicals.

  20. zzzmadison says:

    i dilute my mouthwash with water before using hehe

  21. sesame says:

    I think you can do an essential oil gargle but I’ve not tried so can’t recommend the recipe. Also, I am still not able to past the barrier of using essential oil in my mouth.

  22. sesame says:

    Oh that sounds like a good idea.

  23. Ellen says:

    I have found a gorgeous non alcohol all natural mouthwash called Sarakan…it’s delicous and leaves a coating on my teeth which seems to be protecting them from staining

  24. Sesame says:

    Ah…think I have come across the brand but I need to order it online.

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